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18 trapped after Indian submarine explodes and sinks in Mumbai

A Russian-built submarine of the Indian navy has exploded in Mumbai harbor, with 18 sailors believed to be trapped inside, Guardian reports.

Several other crew members were reported to have escaped by jumping off the submarine when it blew up on Tuesday night, sparking a huge fire. Several injured navy personnel were being treated in a naval hospital.

"Naval divers are trying to rescue the sailors still inside the semi-submerged submarine," said naval spokesman PVS Satish. "We will not give up until we find them."
After the explosion in the Russian Kilo-class INS Sindhurakshak, two torpedoes from the submarine were set off, damaging other vessels in the naval dockyard.

India's defense minister AK Antony confirmed that people died when a navy submarine caught fire and sank at its home port in Mumbai. He gave no details. "I feel sad … about those navy personnel who lost their lives in the service of the country," Antony told reporters outside parliament in New Delhi.

The diesel-electric submarine, built in St Petersburg in 1997, had undergone a two-year upgrade in Russia after a battery on board gave trouble in April 2010.

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